Why did my plant's leaves change shape?

jackcarsonMay 28, 2011


First of all, please accept my apologies that I don't know what species my plant is, as well as the technical terms as I don't own many plants yet, and am quite new to gardening. :)

I took over a plant from my landlord at my old house.

For the four years I've taken care of it at the old house, the leaf shape was more of a 'heart shape' (see http://s1136.photobucket.com/albums/n492/whoisjackcarson/?action=view&current=IMG_1013.jpg ).

However, recently, when I moved into a new house, I left the country for one month, and came back to my shock that the leaves have changed shape to a sharp spade-shaped (see http://s1136.photobucket.com/albums/n492/whoisjackcarson/?action=view&current=IMG_1015.jpg and http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n492/whoisjackcarson/IMG_1017.jpg )

The plant has been with me for a long time, and I'm really upset the way it has changed. It's like a total new plant now. The leaves are looking a little 'freakish' now, and I'm not sure if it's growing well.

Can anyone tell me what is the cause of it? And is there anything I can do so it can grow back leaves of the old shape?

I'm staying in Singapore, and the climate is summer whole year round. I read on some forums that leaf shape changes for some plants due to season change, but we do not have seasonal changes here.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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jackcarsen- You have a goosefoot plant- Syngonium. Don't worry about the leaf change. This plant does this naturally and it's not done yet! As the plan matures it will change leaf. If will eventually be a vining plant. I personally think the leafs are cooler looking as they mature. If you don't like them though you can prune out that stem. Enjoy your beauty! Kyle

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 8:13AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Looks like the difference between juvenile and adult leaves. A change Light levels, watering, temps or anything can cause a plant to "switch" over to a mature state even after years of steady growth.

This is called "Ontogeny" Think of it as similar to a person growing up, A child looks different at 5, then at 10, at 15 and so on. Facial feature change with maturity. Many plant species do the same thing.

I don't know the species of your plant (I'm sure someone here will, Looks like a type of aroid like a philodendron, monstera or anthurium, maybe a syngonium. But I could be wrong. Anyways, Lets take monstera as an example, A seed hits the ground and takes root, once leaves develop it starts to grow along the ground towards the deepest shade close to it which generally means the biggest tree it can climb up, As it climbs up the tree the light levels change among other things like air circulation and temperature and the leaves not only get bigger but the also change shape.

Many species of plant do this, aroid especially so.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 8:51AM
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Your plant is definately a Syngonium/Arrowhead Plant.Looks like Nephthytis 'White Butterfly.'
For some reason the first link/picture won't open. I had to type the second link instead of copy and paste. So, I couldn't see what your Syngonium looked like in pic 1 opposed to pic 2.

Syngonium leaves 'shape and color' changes as they mature..Amount of sun makes a difference.

Are you unhappy the way your plant looks now? Toni

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Syngonium White Butterfly is a gorgeous plant once it gets its mature leaves IMO.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 6:32PM
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